Everything from one source!

The Gunnar Novex cutting platform serves multiple industries and customer demands
The Gunnar Novex cutting platform serves multiple industries and customer demands

In a Q&A session, Dennis Weber, technical sales manager at hand and electrical shear suppliers Robuso explains how the company’s sales and distribution partnership with flatbed cutting systems specialists Gunnar, now means its customers can get everything from one source.

 

As one of Europe’s leading shears manufacturers, Robuso provides a comprehensive range of hand-crafted hand and electrical shears designed to provide the complete solution for cutting a number of composite materials and technical fabrics.

Dennis Weber, technical sales manager of Robuso [Dennis]
Dennis Weber, technical sales manager of Robuso [Dennis]

However, the company had been interested in adding a digital cutting solution to its range for some time. Robuso decided it would like to support its burgeoning customer demands by adding digital cutting to its hand and electrical shear portfolio too.

A chance meeting between Gunnar and Robuso at the JEC World Paris event in 2017 eventually led to Robuso becoming Gunnar’s sales and distribution partner for Germany. Since then, Robuso has gone on to offer all possibilities of cutting - from hand shears to machines to the digital cutting process - everything from one source!

Q) What industries do your customers typically come from?

Most of our customers come from the automotive, aerospace, wind energy and boatbuilding sectors, so actually everything that has something to do with processing technical fibres for lightweight construction.

Q) And what materials are predominantly cut on the Gunnar flatbed machines?

This varies a lot. Our customers cut a lot of prepreg, carbon and glass fibre, but also dry fibres, such as aramid (Kevlar) and Dyneema. Basically, everything that has to do with lightweight construction or protective equipment can be cut efficiently on Gunnar’s Novex flatbed digital cutting platform.

Q) What were your reasons for choosing to partner with Gunnar over other flatbed machine tool manufacturers?

What I like most is that the Gunnar Novex is very modular. To begin with, the customer only has to determine the table size, which cannot be changed. Everything else can be added as the company grows and orders increase. If, for example, the customer chooses the simplest variant, i.e. a purely static cutter, he can, if the order situation increases, convert this to a fully-automatic clearing system with several tool heads or a Inkjet printer for labelling the components. A lot is possible!

Q) Tell me more about the Gunnar flatbed cutting machines?

Our Democutter Novex S with conveyor and material feeder is used for all kinds of technical fibres or prepregs. Our customers send us the material they want us to test - this way, we can directly make the appropriate settings on the cutter and thus achieve the best result for the customer.

The Robuso company building in Solingen
The Robuso company building in Solingen

We work with software specially developed in Germany for the Gunnar Novex. We can use two different tools simultaneously during the cutting process with the Novex. Plus, it also has the universal tool holder UTH. Here, for example, a pen can be used to mark the parts - or via a Inkjet print head. This is also modular and can be retrofitted.

Q) Do the Gunnar machines have an automatic roll feed of dry fabric/prepreg material to the machine bed?

The Novex with conveyor belt automatically clears cut material from the table and then pulls new material from the roller stand and continues working. For heavy and thick materials, Gunnar has developed an automatic roller stand.

Q) Do you have a success story of a customer using the Gunnar flatbed cutters that you can recall?

Yes, I do. One of our good Robuso customers is a leading manufacturer of fencing sportswear. They used to cut everything by hand with our Robuso shears. However, as the order situation was increasing very steeply upwards, we had to think about how we could make this process more effective. I got Gunnar on board and we were able to digitise all his templates and cut them on the cutter. Today our customer cuts about 200 fencing gloves in an hour, whereas this process used to take several days.

Q) What do you think differentiates Gunnar machines from those of the competition?

I am sure all our competitors all do a good job, but we only look solely at ourselves and our products. We are a young, smart and efficient team and we know what we can do - but we also know what we cannot do. I think this is what our customers appreciate the most.

Q) Has the pandemic-enforced downtime been a good time to ‘reset’ and assess how efficiently you are running your business?

A selection of Robuso hand shears
A selection of Robuso hand shears

We did not have to perform a reset at all. We have a very good and high quality product. However, we were able to use resources during the pandemic and move forward with new projects that we would not have had time for otherwise.

Q) What kind of industry landscape are we dealing with now that everything is getting back to normal?

That is difficult to define. I hope that the pandemic will end soon and the economy will pick up again. Covid-19 has simply destroyed many good businesses around the world, which is incredibly terrible and unfair. If companies can start producing again without interruptions, I hope we can all get good orders, and people who have lost their jobs can be employed again. Unfortunately, it seems that only the strong and innovative have survived this difficult time. It sounds very sad, but I am afraid this is the reality.

Q) Would you say that your long-standing partnerships have brought huge benefits, especially because trusting relationships can lead to a better way forward for everyone?

Our Robuso partners worldwide were also badly affected by the economic situation and all their sales went down. But we have always stood behind them. It was very important to us that we communicate openly and that everyone comes out of this story in a healthy position. We couldn't change the situation, but at least we could stand by our friends and partners.

Q) What is the way forward for your company?

We are in a very good position and everyone has managed to stay healthy - this was the main thing for us. We were also able to work on many new ideas and innovations during this time. I am looking forward to the time after Covid when we can start the future with our team – let’s do business!

https://robuso.de

Company

Robuso

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